Chef of the Week: Wayne Joyce, Head Chef at Urban Reef in Bournemouth

How long have you worked at your current restaurant?
Six months. I was previously at The Sandbanks hotel for nine years.

Where did your passion for cooking come from and where did you learn your skills?
My love of cooking was with my grandparents, helping them on their allotment and watching them cook various dishes with all the fresh fruits and vegetables we harvested. At 16, I started at the Bournemouth & Poole College gaining level 1,2 & 3 in professional catering.

What do you enjoy most about being a chef?
The thing I love about being a chef is the freedom to be creative and adding your own personality to dishes you’re producing.

Name three ingredients you couldn’t cook without.
Butter, Fussels rapeseed oil, Maldon sea salt: Butter, fish/seafood, eggs.

Which piece of kitchen equipment couldn’t you live without? A strong blender.

What do you think is a common mistake that lets chefs down?
I find chefs give in to their passion of food too easily when things get hard. I love to challenge myself.

What is your favourite time of year for food, and why?
My favourite season is autumn – corn on the cob, squashes and foraging for mushrooms and herbs.

Which of your dishes are you most proud of?
My proudest dish was salt baked heritage beetroot, goat’s curd, pickled carrots, carrot gel, which I cooked for a photo shoot for a supplier’s magazine.

How do you come up with new dishes?
When I come up with new dishes, I normally sit a few of my chefs down and we bounce ideas off each other. It’s good to keep them interested and proud of dishes that they have had a hand in producing.

Who was your greatest influence?
My greatest influence was my executive chef when I worked in the United States. He really pushed me forwards.

Tell us three chefs you admire:
I admire my first Head Chef Eddie Blanchard (a fish/seafood god); David Boland (ex-lecturer at Bournemouth & Poole College) and Darryl Start (Executive Chef JW Marriott Hotel Atlanta, USA).

What is your favourite cookbook?
I can’t remember the last time I read a cook book. With everything online, I am constantly looking at recipes and videos there.

Who do you think are the chefs to watch over the next few months?
The chefs I watch for inspiration are Sam Moody, Lisa Allen and Paul Ainsworth.